Our Favorite Paris Hotels
• 5-Star: Four Seasons
• 4-Star: Grand Powers • Pullman
• 3-Star: Cler • Chopin
• Cheap: Welcome Paris
• For Couples: Relais Christine
• For Families: Four Seasons
• Near Eiffel Tower: Pullman
• Louvre: Hotel du Louvre
• Notre Dame: Saint Severin
• Montmartre: Hotel Des Arts
• Gare du Nord/Gare de l’Est: Hotel Hor
• Best New Hotel: Maison Villeroy
• Hotel Pool: Molitor
• With Kitchen: Fraser Suites
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Best Areas to Stay in Paris
As one of the world’s most visited cities, Paris needs little introduction. The home of the Louvre, Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame, and Champs-Élysées is as known for its world-class restaurants, historic cafes, and art history as much as its iconic sights, with most visitors in awe of its gorgeous architecture and elegant streets.
There is no “best neighborhood” for visitors to stay in Paris. Since the top sights are spread around the city center and there’s no “downtown”, much depends on your interests and hotel budget. And with over 1,600 hotels in Paris at last count, the range of accommodation is vast but needn’t be overwhelming – we break down your choices below.
The single best tip we can give for first-time visitors to Paris is to stay within a short walk of a metro station. If you do, then getting around the city will be easy.
Hotels within steps of a Paris metro station: Hôtel Madison • Litteraire Marcel Ayme • Holiday Inn Paris Opéra • Le Relais du Marais • Hotel Barrière Fouquet’s • Hotel & Spa de Latour Maubourg • K+K Hôtel Cayré Saint Germain des Prés • Yuna Les Halles • Hotel Whistler • Hotel du Louvre
Neighborhoods in Paris
Paris is divided into the Right Bank (north of the Seine River) and Left Bank (south of the Seine) and further subdivided into 20 arrondissements (administrative districts). These arrondissements are numbered from one to twenty and, starting from just north of the Seine, swirl out clockwise. This means that the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th arrondissements are the most central, with the higher numbers being further out and typically more residential. When navigating, most people will refer to the arrondissement or more specifically the closest metro stop. Street names are almost irrelevant as the majority of streets are only a few blocks long or, most confusingly, will change names once you cross into another district.
The central arrondissements comprise generally safe and walkable neighborhoods that include the most notable restaurants, shopping, tourist attractions, and famous landmarks. Our favorite Paris neighborhoods are the Marais on the right bank (in the 3rd and 4th arrondissements) and St-Germain on the left bank (in the 6th). Generally, the left bank is associated with classic architecture and Hemingway haunts (like the Latin Quarter and Montparnasse), while the right bank tends to be hip and affluent – the posh 1st, 8th and 16th arrondissements are over here, along with edgier South Pigalle and hilltop Montmartre. The best hotels in Paris and the best hotels for families are spread around this central core; no district has a monopoly on quality accommodations.
Happily, Paris is one of the world’s easiest cities to get around, even for first-timers. Visitors love the fact that most of the city is walkable or easily connected by a comprehensive and reliable metro system. Taxis are readily available (including Uber), and there is even a vast network of public bikes you can use.
Paris areas not reachable by foot can easily be accessed by metro. Each metro ride requires one ticket (regardless of distance) that costs €1.90. You can purchase tickets from machines found in every station (there’s also a stored-value option if you intend to do a lot of traveling or are staying over). Metro ticket machines take either cash or a chipped credit card, have an English language function, and give you the option to buy a book of 10 tickets for €14.90 (called a carnet) or €7.45 for ages 4 to 9, which gives you a discount and is a time-saver if you plan on taking the metro often. The metro trains are extremely reliable, and every station has a real-time display telling you how many minutes until the next train arrives. The 16 Paris metro lines cover all parts of the city – tickets can also be used on buses, trams, the Montmartre funicular, and RER rapid transit trains within the city. The metro is usually the fastest way to get around to avoid traffic.
The Best Places to Stay in Paris
- Best Luxury Hotels in Paris
Four Seasons George V • Shangri-La • Mandarin Oriental
- Best Boutique Hotels in Paris
Relais Christine • JK Place • Saint James Paris • Grand Powers
- Best Midrange Hotels in Paris
Hotel des Grands Boulevards • Hotel Chopin • Hôtel du Collège de France • Le Petit Chomel • Cler Hotel
- Best Cheap Hotels in Paris
Welcome Paris • Hotel Basss • Port Royal Hotel
- Best Hotels in Paris for Families
Four Seasons George V (luxury) • Mandarin Oriental (luxury) • Gardette Park (midrange) • Staycity Gare de l’Est (budget)
- Best New Hotel in Paris
- Best Hostels in Paris
Vintage Gare du Nord • Generator Paris • The People Belleville • The People Bercy
More Notable Paris Hotels
I bought, read, and highlighted-extensively the most recent Paris guidebooks from Lonely Planet, Frommer’s, and Rick Steves. Here are some of their most interesting hotel picks. (Having a physical copy is highly recommended. More for on-the-ground advice than for pre-trip planning.)
• Hotel Les Bains ($$$, 3rd arr.) – Among Paris’ most fabulous lifestyle hotels, with 39 bespoke rooms showcasing vintage treasures, luxury fabrics, and eclectic design.
• Molitor Hôtel & Spa ($$$, 16th arr.) – All 124 rooms are in a U-shape overlooking outdoor pool (heated year-round). Interconnecting rooms for families. Rooftop bar.
• Hôtel Particulier Montmartre ($$$, 18th arr.) – Down a stone-paved alley this mansion is a magical address. Five sweeping designer suites.
• Hôtel La Comtesse ($$, 7th arr.) – A 5-star view of the Eiffel Tower from every room in this utterly charming boutique hotel.
• Le Grand Quartier ($$, 10th arr.) – Hidden on a quiet street near Canal St-Martin. A dazzling white facade hides a sharp design interior.
• Hidden Hotel ($$, 17th arr.) – Serene, stylish, and reasonably spacious.
• Hôtel Crayon ($$, 1st arr.) – Le crayon (the pencil) is the theme, with 26 rooms sporting a different shade.
• Generator Paris ($, 10th arr.) – The best doubles have fabulous terraces with views. Women-only dorms available.
• The People Paris Belleville ($, 11th arr.) – Brilliant hostel. Mingle with locals at stunning ground-floor bar. Dorms and doubles available.
• Cheval Blanc ($$$, 1st arr.) – Ultra-refined spot is one of the only hotels to overlook the Seine (the historic part). A mega-splurge to stay here.
• Sinner ($$$, 3rd arr.) – A quirky splurge. A joyously rebellious hotel with daring decor.
• Monsieur George Hotel & Spa ($$$, 8th arr.) – Steps from the Champs-Elysées. The garden suite is a duplex with its own garden courtyard.
• Hôtel Thérèse ($$, 1st arr.) – Just a few steps from the Palais Royal and Louvre. Beautiful lodgings combine old-fashioned charm with modern chic.
• Hôtel Jeanne d’Arc Le Marais ($, 4th arr.) – Considering its prime location in southern Marais, this cozy hotel is an incredible deal.
• Hotel Du Cadran ($$$, 7th arr.) – Close to Rue Cler. Modern and stylish with a wine bar in the lobby.
• Hôtel Eiffel Turenne ($$, 7th arr.) – Good choice with well maintained rooms.
• Hotel Saint-Louis Marais ($$, 4th arr.) – On a quiet street a few blocks from the river. Rooms have character and spacious bathrooms.
• Victoire & Germain ($$, 6th arr.) – A top choice a few steps off Boulevard St. Germain. Rooms offer excellent comfort.
• Timhotel Montmartre ($, 18th arr.) – Rooms are handsome, well maintained, and a fair value.
Best Places in Paris for…
- Best Neighborhoods in Paris for Sightseeing: 1st, 7th or 8th Arrondissements
Most of Paris’s iconic landmarks lie in these three districts, and you’ll be well-positioned to see many others. In the 1st arrondissement alone you can visit the Louvre, admire the beautifully stained glasswork of Sainte-Chapelle, stroll through the Tuileries Garden, and enjoy a glass of wine at one of the quaint cafes lining the garden of the Palais Royale. The Place Vendôme, the beautiful plaza where Coco Chanel used to live, is also home to the Ritz Paris, where you can have a drink at Bar Hemingway. You’re also within easy walking distance of Notre Dame Cathedral, the Centre Pompidou, and just across the river from St-Germain and the Latin Quarter. Next door, the 8th is home to the Champs-Elysées, Arc de Triomphe, and the best designer shopping in the city, while across the river the 7th contains the Eiffel Tower, Invalides, Rodin Museum, and Musée d’Orsay. While staying here can be pricey, there are plenty of midrange and budget options, too.
- Best Neighborhood in Paris for Food and Restaurants: 11th Arrondissement
You’ll find excellent restaurants all over Paris, but the best neighborhood for foodies is the 11th. Located just outside the central arrondissements and with cheaper rents, many of the city’s up and coming chefs have set up shop in this area. Generally catering to a local crowd, prices tend to be more affordable in the 11th where the focus is on relaxed eateries with excellent food vs. stuffy haute cuisine. You’ll find everything here from newly-minted Michelin-star establishments and trendsetting chefs to hip, natural wine bars. Sample the pastries and croissants at La Pâtisserie Cyril Lignac, brunch at Kafkaf, modern French cuisine at Papa Poule, Latin American food at Tambo, and contemporary West African/Senegalese dishes at BALY Restaurant, among many others.
- Best Neighborhoods in Paris for Nightlife: Latin Quarter, Le Marais, SoPi
Paris has lots of options for nightlife to suit any mood. For great bar-hopping, head over to the Marais. Here you’ll find a diverse mix of everything from “secret” speakeasies to chic cocktail lounges filled with trendy Parisians – it’s also an LGBTQ+ nightlife hub. We like the Pop Art-themed Andy Wahloo bar, the cocktails at Sherry Butt and Résistance, and British-themed bar Cambridge Public House. The Latin Quarter is known as boozy student district, but it’s a fun place to go out. Highlights include live jazz at Caveau de la Huchette, live music and cheap booze at Le Piano Vache, and no-frills local hangout Le Requin Chagrin. For something a little more edgy, the area around South Pigalle (SoPi) offers cabaret shows, concert halls with bands every night, and neighborhood dive bars that bring in a roster of DJs. Dirty Dick is a great little tiki bar, while in complete contrast, the bar at the Maison Souquet hotel is super plush. Lulu White Drinking Club is another favorite, a speakeasy-style bar that serves quality absinthe.
- Best Neighborhoods in Paris for a Local Vibe: 11th and 12th Arrondissements
The 11th arrondissement captures the spirit of how most Parisians really live. Away from the more glamorous neighborhoods like St-Germain and the Marais, you’ll find informal bistros, fashionable cafes, hip boutiques and galleries, and lots of local nightlife. The 11th is a blend of younger Parisians near Oberkampf, families on the eastern outskirts, as well as an amalgam of the Vietnamese, North African, and Middle Eastern diaspora that calls Paris home. Oberkampf in particular boasts a vibrant bar and restaurant scene, with Pierre Sang in Oberkampf (French-Korean), Le Village (West African), and local grilled meat/steakhouse chain La Brigade favorite spots. To the south, the area around Place de la Bastille is also a buzzing nightlife destination. To immerse yourself in the area, consider Hotel Fabric, the Hôtel Paris Bastille Boutet, Le Général, or the The People Belleville hostel. To the south of the 11th, the relatively tourist-free 12th arrondissement offers another authentic slice of Parisian life, with local shops, bars (including wine bar gem Le Baron Rouge), and markets such as the excellent (and cheap) Marché d’Aligre. You can stroll along the Promenade Plantée, a former elevated railway line turned park (a bit like the High Line in New York), or peruse Bercy Village, former wine warehouses converted into cafés and shops. The People Bercy is an excellent budget option here, while the Pullman Bercy offers more luxury.
- Best Neighborhood in Paris to Stay for First Timers: 7th Arrondissement
The 7th is the perfect place to stay for first-time visitors to Paris. Home to the Eiffel Tower, notable museums like the Musée d’Orsay, world-class restaurants, some of the most beautiful architecture in the city, and the charming market street Rue Cler, you’ll experience what most people think of when they envision Paris. You’ll also have the benefit of being away from some of the hustle and bustle in neighboring St-Germain while being close enough to take advantage of its wine bars and jazz clubs.
- Most Romantic Neighborhood in Paris: Montmartre
Up in the hills of Montmartre is the perfect place for a honeymoon visit or romantic outing. This neighborhood offers breathtaking views while retaining a quaint, village-like charm (away from the main tourist attractions, it’s surprisingly quiet). Wander around cobblestone streets or climb its many picturesque hills and staircases. Stroll past ivy-covered townhouses or the vines of Paris’s only winery. Have a picnic on the steps of the Sacré-Cœur and enjoy one of the best Paris views, especially at sunset.
- Best Neighborhoods in Paris for Families: St-Germain, Marais, and 1st Arrondissement
Most districts in Paris are great for families, but a few stand out. Depending on the age of your children, St-Germain near the Luxembourg Gardens, the Marais near Places des Vosges, and the 1st near the Tuileries are all highly central with great playgrounds. All are walkable with access to shops, sites, and restaurants. The Latin Quarter, though not as connected by metro but still very central, might be another district to consider. You’ll still have access to all the amenities, plus a quieter, village-like feel and cheaper hotels. Family-friendly highlights include the Natural History Museum and the botanical garden known as Jardin des Plantes. If your kids are a little older, then you’ll definitely want to stay in the Marais. With all the trendy boutiques, galleries, and cafés, it’s great for young adults but still offers lots of cultural activities such as the Centre Pompidou.
- Best Neighborhoods in Paris for Shopping: Marais and 9th Arrondissement
There is something for everyone in the Marais. From chic boutiques filled with local Parisian designers, French chains like APC, international brands like American Apparel, or more upscale shopping, the Marais caters to both men and women at almost every price point. While most tourists head to the Galeries Lafayette, stylish Parisians prefer to shop at BHV (short for Bazar de l’Hôtel de Ville). You can find nearly everything under one roof – from tools in their hardware department to the latest Marc Jacobs to an outpost of the Alain Ducasse cooking school. Tourists also get an immediate 10% off when you show a foreign passport. You’ll find cheaper and more fashionable stores along Rue des Francs Bourgeois and Rue Vieille-du-Temple. First timers shouldn’t skip the traditional “Grands Boulevards” shopping zone entirely: Galeries Lafayette and Au Printemps are legendary and beautiful department stores well worth exploring in the heart of the 9th, with Boulevard Haussmann and surrounding streets lined with all sorts of fashion stores. You should also explore the historic “passages”, historic covered malls like Passage Jouffroy, built in 1836, that contain various shops and cafés; Jouffroy contains Hotel Chopin, the antiques at wonderful La Maison Du Roy, and Le Valentin tea room.
- Unsafe Areas of Paris
Central Paris is quite safe and generally speaking, the majority of crime that happens is of the pick-pocketing and petty theft variety. There are a few areas that might appear unsafe, especially late at night, and are worth mentioning if you’re not familiar with the city. Certain neighborhoods like Goutte d’Or (18th) or the areas around the metro stops Barbès–Rochechouart and Chateau Rouge (also 18th) can be unwelcoming at night. Likewise, the area around Gare du Nord train station – though bustling during the day it can attract an unsavory element after hours. Sadly, the satellite town of Saint-Denis, some 7 miles north of Place de la Concorde, has a national reputation in France for violent crime, despite containing the Stade de France (home of the national French soccer and rugby teams) and the historic Basilica Cathedral of Saint Denis. Enquire at the Paris Tourism office or at your hotel before planning a trip up here.
- Paris Without a Car
Paris is a city built for walking and public transportation, so not having a car during your stay is not only doable, it’s actually preferable. The city’s comprehensive and efficient public transportation system includes the Metro (underground train), RER (suburban trains), buses, trams, and even boats along the Seine, making it easy to navigate the city and its outskirts. For unlimited travel, consider purchasing a Navigo Week Pass for stays of 4 days or longer. (The Paris Visite travel card only makes sense for very specific cases). Many of the city’s most famous landmarks, such as the Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum, Notre Dame Cathedral, and Champs-Élysées, are easily accessible by a combination of metro and walking. For longer distances, consider renting a Velib’ city bike. Taxis and rideshare services like Uber are readily available, though they are often more expensive and less efficient than public transportation due to the city’s often congested traffic.
The 10 Best Neighborhoods in Paris for Tourists
1. The Marais and Beaubourg Quartier (3rd and 4th Arrondissements)
The trendiest neighborhood in Paris, the Marais is defined by the hip Parisians who come to eat, drink, and shop in this uber cool district (especially in the so-called “Haut Marais”). Though the tone of the neighborhood slants towards a younger set, the Marais’s diversity offers something for everyone – from its famed Jewish quarter to the placid and historic Place des Vosges (above) and a flourishing LGBT scene. Highlights include the Musée National Picasso and the Musée Carnavalet, effectively the history museum of Paris – it’s much bigger than it looks. The moving Mémorial de la Shoah (documenting the effects of the Holocaust on France) and Museum of the Art and History of Judaism are also here, along with the Maison de Victor Hugo, the home of the lauded 19th-century author of Les Misérables.
The Marais is also a great place for shopping, its narrow streets lined with an assortment of indie stores, galleries, and boutiques. The adjoining Beaubourg district is anchored by the distinctive Centre Pompidou with its modern art collections.
• Staying here isn’t cheap, but there are some great boutique hotels and good deals to be had, and you’ll be right in the heart of the city.
- Best Hotels in the Marais and Beaubourg Quartier
Le Pavillon de la Reine • Hotel phone: +33 1 40 29 19 19
Hôtel de JoBo • Hotel phone: +33 1 48 04 70 48
La Chambre du Marais • Hotel phone: +33 1 44 78 08 00
Roi de Sicile – Rivoli • Hotel phone: +33 1 87 44 20 96
Caron de Beaumarchais • Hotel phone: +33 1 42 72 34 12
- Best Cheap/Midrange Hotels
Jules & Jim • Hotel phone: +33 1 44 54 13 13
Oh la la! • Hotel phone: +33 1 88 33 55 11
D’win • Hotel phone: +33 1 44 54 05 05
Hôtel Marais Bastille • Hotel phone: +33 1 48 05 75 00
Jeanne d’Arc le Marais • Hotel phone: +33 1 48 87 62 11
Hôtel De Neuve • Hotel phone: +33 1 44 59 28 50
- Best Hostels
MIJE Marais • Hotel phone: +33 1 42 74 23 45
2. St-Germain-des-Prés (5th and 6th Arrondissements)
St-Germain retains the timeless charm of the Left Bank while buzzing with a lively array of galleries, restaurants, and jazz clubs (don’t confuse it with Saint-Germain-en-Laye, the suburban town on the edge of Paris). Oscar Wilde famously lived and died in the late 1890s at what is now the elegant L’Hotel, while existentialist philosophers and writers such as Sartre, de Beauvoir, and Camus sipped espresso at Café de Flore and Les Deux Magots in the 1940s and 1950s. Today these cafés retain their historic cache despite being mobbed by tourists, and the neighborhood is far from being a living museum.
From the upscale shops that dot the bustling Boulevard St-Germain to the aristocratic calm of the Jardin du Luxembourg, this quarter is popular with locals as much as outsiders. It typically attracts a well-heeled crowd who come seeking only the biggest names in food and fashion – it’s especially known for its contemporary art galleries, especially near the river and west into the 7th arrondissement. In terms of sights, there’s the medieval Church of St-Germain-des-Prés itself, the Musée National Eugène Delacroix dedicated to the 19th-century painter (with a collection of the artist’s personal items and exhibitions of his work), Serge Gainsbourg’s graffiti-covered former house, and to the south the austere Palais du Luxembourg, seat of the French Senate, and the Jardin du Luxembourg, manicured gardens that make a pleasant spot for a break.
• Though at times the area may feel overrun with tourists, one major St-Germain plus is that you’ll find many shops and restaurants open in summer while other areas of the city are quiet/shut down.
• Hotels here are usually very expensive – however the neighboring Latin Quarter, easily walkable, is home to a better choice of cheaper accommodation.
- Best Hotels in St-Germain-des-Prés
Relais Christine • Hotel phone: +33 1 40 51 60 80
L’Hotel • Hotel phone: +33 1 44 41 99 00
Pavillon Faubourg • Hotel phone: +33 1 42 61 01 51
Hotel Bel Ami • Hotel phone: +33 1 42 61 53 53
Victoire & Germain • Hotel phone: +33 1 45 49 03 26
Hôtel Saint-André des Arts • Hotel phone: +33 1 43 26 96 16
- Best Cheap/Midrange Hotels
Hotel des Deux Continents • Hotel phone: +33 1 43 26 72 46
Welcome Hotel • Hotel phone: +33 1 46 34 24 80
Hôtel de Nesle • Hotel phone: +33 1 43 54 62 41
3. Latin Quarter (5th and 6th Arrondissements)
The Latin Quarter is great for those who want a central location with classic Parisian charm while seeking something a little cheaper. Find somewhere away from the student hangouts for which the area is typically associated with and you’ll find yourself strolling down cobblestone streets, through leafy squares, and taking in some of the most diverse architecture in the city which includes Roman ruins, gothic spires, and the innovative Institut du Monde Arabe (a cultural center designed by lauded French architect, Jean Nouvel). Great restaurants and wine bars abound in this part of the city, especially on Rue Descartes and the lively market street Rue Mouffetard; lovely Place de la Contrescarpe is an atmospheric place to sit outside at a local bistro or café. There’s a lot to see: the Musée de Cluny is the national museum of medieval history and art, with underground Gallo-Roman baths included, while the enormous Panthéon is the final resting place of several French notables, from philosophers Voltaire and Rousseau to writers Dumas, Hugo, and Zola and scientist Marie Curie. The Sorbonne (aka University of Paris), the most venerated (and oldest) French university, is also here, though you can only get inside on pre-arranged tours (there are lots of great bookshops nearby, though). The sprawling Jardin des Plantes contains several charmingly old-fashioned greenhouses and museums, such as the National Museum of Natural History. Shakespeare and Company, the English-language bookstore founded near the river in 1951 (though it’s only an homage to the earlier Paris bookstore of the same name that published James Joyce’s 1922 novel Ulysses), has become a major sight in its own right – don’t be surprised if you must line up just to get in.
• Hotel rates tend to be a bit cheaper here, compared to St-Germain and Le Marais.
- Best Hotels in the Latin Quarter
Parc-Saint Séverin • Hotel phone: +33 1 43 54 32 17
Maison Colbert • Hotel phone: +33 1 56 81 19 00
Les Dames du Panthéon • Hotel phone: +33 1 43 54 32 95
Villa d’Estrées • Hotel phone: +33 1 55 42 71 11
- Best Cheap/Midrange Hotels
Hôtel du Collège de France • Hotel phone: +33 6 58 53 76 04
Hôtel Vendôme Saint Germain • Hotel phone: +33 1 43 26 80 98
Paris Art Hotel • Hotel phone: +33 1 43 26 83 64
French Theory • Hotel phone: +33 1 43 54 58 10
4. The 7th Arrondissement
The 7th has everything you think of when you think of Paris – the Eiffel Tower, the Seine, excellent museums, breathtaking architecture, charming markets, high-end shopping, and world-class restaurants. Its diversity and versatility make it a popular choice for everyone, whether you’re a first-timer to Paris or returning visitor. In addition to the Eiffel Tower and superb collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works at the Musée d’Orsay, the 7th includes monumental Les Invalides, home to Napoleon’s tomb and the French national army museum, the excellent Musée Rodin, a smaller museum dedicated to artist Aristide Maillol, and the Musée du Quai Branly, a collection of indigenous art from all over the world housed in another futuristic building designed by Jean Nouvel.
Visit the family-friendly Berges de Seines and you’ll have a riverfront play area that stretches from the Musee D’Orsay to the Pont D’Alma. Or at night, take a romantic stroll near the Pont Alexander III bridge, one of the most beautiful Beaux-Arts bridges in Paris, where you’ll also have a view of the Grand Palais just on the other side of the Seine. Be sure to explore Rue Cler, a charming traffic-free street that has a village-like feel and is lined with chic shops and cafés.
• Hotels in the 7th tend to be very pricey, with lots of luxurious choices, especially close to the Eiffel Tower and the Seine – the good news is that it’s relatively easy to visit from elsewhere in the city.
• The Pullman Tour Eiffel is the best hotel near the Eiffel Tower (though it’s just barely across the border into the 15th arrondissement).
- Best Hotels in 7th arrondissement
J.K. Place Paris • Hotel phone: +33 1 40 60 40 20
Le Cinq Codet • Hotel phone: +33 1 53 85 15 60
Pullman Tour Eiffel (in the 15th) • Hotel phone: +33 1 44 38 56 00
Le Narcisse Blanc • Hotel phone: +33 1 40 60 44 32
Hôtel Montalembert • Hotel phone: +33 1 45 49 68 68
- Best Cheap/Midrange Hotels
Cler Hotel • Hotel phone: +33 1 45 00 18 06
Hotel de L’Empereur • Hotel phone: +33 1 45 55 88 02
Le Petit Chomel • Hotel phone: +33 1 45 48 55 52
Hôtel de Londres Eiffel • Hotel phone: +33 1 45 51 63 02
Hôtel Signature • Hotel phone: +33 1 45 48 35 53
5. South Pigalle (SoPi)
Visitors who want a local and hip Paris vibe should stay in South Pigalle (aka SoPi) in the 9th Arrondissement, in between the Seine and Montmartre. Just south of the former red-light district, the city’s most up-and-coming destination offers quiet tree-lined streets dotted with fashionable boutiques, cafes, and a thriving restaurant and bar scene. A few tucked away boutique hotels have popped up in recent years, allowing tourists to take advantage of its proximity to the hills of Montmartre and nearby Sacré Coeur. Stroll Rue des Martyrs to take in the scene and gourmet shops, or visit the intriguing museums here, which attract far fewer tourists than the mainstream Parisian sights: the Musée National Gustave Moreau (dedicated to the 19th-century Symbolist Parisian artist) and the Musée de la Vie Romantique, in the wonderfully-preserved former home and studio of Dutch-born painter Ary Scheffer – it has a whole floor dedicated to iconic 19th-century female writer George Sand (Scheffer’s neighbor).
• Hotel rates tend to be much cheaper in SoPi than anywhere else in the city center, though the fancier boutique hotels are priced accordingly.
- Best Hotels in South Pigalle
Maison Souquet • Hotel phone: +33 1 48 78 55 55
Grand Pigalle Hôtel • Hotel phone: +33 1 85 73 12 00
Le Grey • Hotel phone: +33 1 55 31 93 93
Hôtel Beige • Hotel phone: +33 1 45 26 97 71
Hôtel R de Paris • Hotel phone: +33 1 40 82 36 20
- Best Cheap/Midrange Hotels
1er Étage SoPi-Montmartre • Hotel phone: +33 6 49 76 18 84
Hôtel Bloum • Hotel phone: +33 1 48 78 78 58
Hotel George • Hotel phone: +33 1 48 74 03 29
Hôtel Saint Louis Pigalle • Hotel phone: +33 1 40 16 08 66
Hôtel des 3 Poussins • Hotel phone: +33 1 53 32 81 81
Hotel Lorette • Hotel phone: +33 1 42 85 18 81
6. Montmartre (18th Arrondissement)
Montmartre’s charm and breathtaking views are the biggest reasons to stay in this part of Paris. Clustered on a hill north of the city center, the former village of Montmartre became notorious in the late 19th century as the stomping ground of artists such as Degas, Picasso, Renoir, and Toulouse-Lautrec. Later in the early 20th century, Picasso, Braque, and Gris created Cubism in an old piano factory on Place Émile Goudeau.
Those days are long gone, but away from the touristy spots such as the iconic Sacré-Coeur, Moulin Rouge cabaret, and Place du Tertre, you’ll find plenty of quiet cobblestone streets to wander; with Avenue Junot having some of the most beautiful houses in Paris and Rue des Saules climbing past the Vigne de Montmartre (Paris’s only vineyard). The street also connects the Montmartre hilltop with the Lamarck-Caulaincourt neighborhood via several stretches of stairs, its beauty immortalized by artists such as Cezanne and Van Gogh. Visit the Musée de Montmartre to learn more about the neighborhood’s illustrious history, and the tranquil Montmartre Cemetery to view the tombs of Stendhal, Berlioz, Degas, and many other notable French artists, musicians, and writers.
• There are not as many hotels as you’d expect in Montmartre – apartment rentals are more common here. Rates are higher than in Pigalle, but there are plenty of budget and midrange options. And though it’s a bit far from the other main attractions, the rest of the city is easily reachable by metro.
- Best Hotels in Montmartre
Le Relais Montmartre • Hotel phone: +33 1 70 64 25 25
Monsieur Aristide • Hotel phone: +33 1 42 64 33 33
Hôtel Des Arts • Hotel phone: +33 1 46 06 30 52
- Best Cheap/Midrange Hotels
Hôtel Môm’Art • Hotel phone: +33 1 82 52 26 26
Litteraire Marcel Ayme • Hotel phone: +33 1 42 55 05 06
Hôtel Basss • Hotel phone: +33 1 42 51 50 00
- Best Hostel
Le Village • Hotel phone: +33 1 42 64 22 02
7. The 1st Arrondissement
The 1st arrondissement encompasses the traditional heart of the city along the right bank of the Seine, and as such is a great base for sightseeing – if you can afford it. You’re in the historic heart of Paris (this is where the original Gaulish settlement was located before the Roman conquest), with many of the city’s sights within walking distance. There’s the Louvre, Jardin du Palais-Royal and Tuileries Garden (with Monet’s Water Lilies series inside the Musée de l’Orangerie), plus the cathedrals of Notre Dame and Sainte-Chapelle, and La Conciergerie, the former prison where Marie Antoinette spent her final days, over on Île de la Cité (which is actually split between the 1st and 4th arrondissements), in the middle of the Seine. The Musée D’Orsay and St-Germain are just across the river, and you’ll be able to walk to major performance venues such as La Comédie Française and Théâtre du Palais-Royal, with the grand opera house, Palais Garnier, just to the north. The Westfield Forum des Halles here is the largest shopping mall in Paris, on the site of what was once the city’s central food market. Combined with a fantastic dining scene including some of Paris’s best restaurants like Le Comptoir des Petits Champs and Restaurant Tamara, and the Palais Royal, visitors have an abundance of activities to choose from both day and night, though it lacks the dynamism of the Latin Quarter and SoPi.
• The Notre Dame Cathedral remains closed after the devastating fire of 2019 – it’s likely to reopen for tourists sometime in 2024.
• Hotels in the 1st arrondissement are generally very expensive – there are many luxury options, but also a handful of good midrange hotels, listed below.
- Best Hotels in the 1st Arrondissement
Mandarin Oriental • Hotel phone: +33 1 70 98 78 88
Le Meurice • Hotel phone: +33 1 44 58 10 10
Grand Hôtel Du Palais Royal • Hotel phone: +33 1 42 96 15 35
Westin – Vendôme • Hotel phone: +33 1 44 77 11 11
Le Relais des Halles • Hotel phone: +33 1 44 82 64 00
Hôtel La Tamise • Hotel phone: +33 1 40 41 14 14
Square Louvois • Hotel phone: +33 1 86 95 02 02
Hotel du Louvre • Hotel phone: +33 1 73 11 12 34
Ritz Paris • Hotel phone: +33 1 43 16 30 30
- Best Midrange Hotels
Hôtel Britannique • Hotel phone: +33 1 42 33 74 59
Hôtel du Triangle d’Or • Hotel phone: +33 1 47 42 25 05
Hôtel Paris Louvre Opéra • Hotel phone: +33 1 40 20 01 10
Hôtel Crayon • Hotel phone: +33 1 42 36 54 19
8. The 8th Arrondissement
Like the 1st, its neighbor to the east, the 8th arrondissement is another affluent district on the right bank, crammed with high-end stores and some of the most luxurious hotels in France. The main draw here is the iconic Champs-Elysées, the 1.2-mile boutique-lined boulevard that links Place de la Concorde with the Arc de Triomphe (where it’s possible to access the panoramic terrace on top, for sensational views). You’ll find more exclusive designer flagships along Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré – Chanel, Christian Louboutin, Comme des Garçons, Givenchy, and the like – and Avenue Montaigne. The magnificent Petit Palais and Grand Palais host art exhibitions and special events, while La Galerie Dior recounts the history of the legendary Paris fashion house. Other attractions include the neoclassical church of La Madeleine, the Musée Cernuschi (Asian art museum), the Musée Jacquemart-André (displaying European art from the 15th century) and the Élysée Palace, the official residence of the French president.
• Though luxury hotels dominate, there are some surprising bargains to be found in the 8th. Stay here for a more contemporary, upscale Paris experience.
- Best Hotels in the 8th Arrondissement
Four Seasons George V • Hotel phone: +33 1 49 52 70 00
Le Bristol Paris • Hotel phone: +33 1 53 43 43 00
Hôtel Grand Powers • Hotel phone: +33 1 47 23 91 05
Le Royal Monceau Raffles • Hotel phone: +33 1 42 99 88 00
Hôtel Plaza Athénée • Hotel phone: +33 1 53 67 66 65
La Réserve Hotel & Spa • Hotel phone: +33 1 58 36 60 60
Fraser Suites Le Claridge • Hotel phone: +33 1 44 13 33 33
Maison Villeroy • Hotel phone: +33 1 45 05 68 00
Hôtel de Crillon • Hotel phone: +33 1 44 71 15 00
Hôtel San Régis • Hotel phone: +33 1 44 95 16 16
Bulgari Hôtel • Hotel phone: +33 1 81 72 10 00
- Best Cheap/Midrange Hotels
Hôtel La Canopée • Hotel phone: +33 1 86 22 21 21
Arioso • Hotel phone: +33 1 53 05 95 00
Hôtel Galiléo • Hotel phone: +33 1 47 20 66 06
Le 12 Hôtel • Hotel phone: +33 1 89 89 12 12
Hotel Opéra Opal • Hotel phone: +33 1 42 65 77 97
- Best Hostel
Adveniat Paris • Hotel phone: +33 1 77 45 89 10
9. The 16th Arrondissement
The primarily upscale 16th lies at the western end of the city center, with its far western half encompassed by the Bois de Boulogne (above), one of the biggest parks in Paris. Here you’ll find boating lakes, an amusement park for kids, and art exhibitions at the futuristic Fondation Louis Vuitton, designed by Frank Gehry. The affluent zone between the park and the Seine is home to the Palais de Tokyo and its modern art museum, and the Trocadéro Gardens, where the National Marine Museum, Aquarium de Paris, the national architecture museum and the Musée de l’Homme (anthropology museum) could take up several days of visits. Debussy and Manet are buried in the nearby Passy Cemetery, while the Hilly Passy district is home to popular restaurants and shops as well as the Musée Marmottan Monet and the Maison de Balzac (dedicated to the famous 19th century writer).
Sports provide the allure at the southern end of the arrondissement; Parc des Princes is the home stadium of top European soccer team Paris Saint-Germain (see their website for match tickets), while Stade Roland Garros hosts the French Open, the tennis championship held in late May/early June. If you want to stay close to these stadiums, consider Hotel Molitor Paris- MGallery, or the much cheaper ibis Styles Paris 16 Boulogne, both within walking distance.
- Best Hotels in the 16th Arrondissement
Shangri-La • Hotel phone: +33 1 53 67 19 98
Saint James Paris • Hotel phone: +33 1 44 05 81 81
The Peninsula Paris • Hotel phone: +33 1 58 12 28 88
Sourire Boutique Hôtel • Hotel phone: +33 6 64 64 72 86
- Best Cheap/Midrange Hotels
Garden Elysée • Hotel phone: +33 1 47 55 01 11
Passy Eiffel • Hotel phone: +33 1 45 25 55 66
Hôtel de Sévigné • Hotel phone: +33 1 47 20 88 90
Hotel Ohm • Hotel phone: +33 1 45 25 30 30
10. Montparnasse (14th Arrondissement)
After World War I, Montparnasse (south of the city center) replaced Montmartre as the city’s premier bohemian hangout, with the likes of Jean Cocteau, Man Ray, Salvador Dalí, and American expat writers Ernest Hemingway, F.Scott Fitzgerald, and Henry Miller attending Gertrude Stein’s legendary salon and drinking at Café de la Rotonde, Le Dôme, Le Select, and La Coupole. The salon and writers are long gone but the cafés are still flourishing; all extremely atmospheric and far less touristy than their equivalents in St-Germain.
This area is a lot more local, though there are plenty of sights and it’s an attractive (and cheap) place to stay. Montparnasse Cemetery is where you’ll find the grave of poet Charles Baudelaire, as well as the gift- and lipstick-smothered tombs of Serge Gainsbourg and Jean-Paul Sartre/Simone de Beauvoir. Artistic highlights include the Musée Bourdelle, which preserves the studio of sculptor Antoine Bourdelle, and the Giacometti Institute, which has reconstructed Swiss sculptor Alberto Giacometti’s studio. You can also book tours of the Catacombs of Paris, an underground burial ground dating from the late 18th century and now a major tourist attraction thanks to its walls of bones and other ghoulish installations (book ahead). Ascend the 689-foot Tour Montparnasse for the best overall view of Paris, or a drink at its panoramic Ciel de Paris bar-restaurant. Finally, you’ll enjoy good shopping here, with the neighborhood known for chic boutiques and indie stores as well as the major chains.
• Though Montparnasse is not a great choice for first-timers (it’s a little far from the main sights), return visitors might enjoy the historic ambience and lack of tourist crowds.
• Visitors looking to save money should also consider staying here; there’s a huge range of cheap hotels. Though quality can be poor at some, good choices are listed below.
- Best Hotels in Montparnasse
Hôtel Le Six • Hotel phone: +33 1 42 22 00 75
Hôtel des Academies et des Arts • Hotel phone: +33 1 43 26 66 44
Hôtel Mistral • Hotel phone: +33 1 43 20 25 43
- Best Cheap/Midrange Hotels
Drawing House • Hotel phone: +33 1 89 89 27 27
Hôtel Aiglon • Hotel phone: +33 1 43 20 82 42
Hôtel A La Villa des Artistes • Hotel phone: +33 1 43 26 60 86
Hôtel de Paris Montparnasse • Hotel phone: +33 1 43 22 10 13
Other Paris Neighborhoods
We’ve covered our favorite neighborhoods to visit and stay in more detail above, but with more time the following districts are also worth checking out.
- Parc de La Villette (19th arrondissement): Over in the northeast corner of the city, the 19th has seen plenty of redevelopment in recent years, especially in the Pont-de-Flandres neighborhood. At its heart is the huge Parc de La Villette and Canal de l’Ourcq, lined with hip restaurants and repurposed warehouses and factories. Kids will enjoy the Cité des sciences et de l’industrie (science museumwith IMAX theater) and the Argonaute Submarine, while the futuristic Paris Philharmonic hosts performances and a museum of music, and the Zénith Paris indoor arena is a major concert venue. To the west lies the Centquatre Paris cultural center, home to concerts, exhibitions, artsy stores, and restaurants. The hotels up here are not good value – take metro lines #5 or #7 to visit from the city center.
- Canal Saint-Martin: The 10th arrondissement stretch of this inner-city canal (near Gare du Nord and Gare de l’Est) is one of the most fashionable districts in Paris, with bohemian cafés, waterside restaurants, and bars like El Nopal and Chez Prune, live venues like Bizz’art, and hips hops along Rue Beaurepaire. There’s plenty of budget and midrange accommodation around here, including the Generator Paris hostel, ibis Canal Saint-Martin, and excellent hotels Hor and Whistler near Gare du Nord.
- Père Lachaise and Belleville (20th arrondissement): Just south of the 19th, the 20th arrondissement is best known as the location of Père Lachaise, Paris’s most famous cemetery. Make a pilgrimage here to view the tombs of Oscar Wilde, Jim Morrison, Molière, Chopin, Édith Piaf, Marcel Proust, and many other French celebrities. The multicultural Belleville neighborhood is also worth checking out, home to major Chinese and African communities, hip bars on Rue de Menilmontant, popular markets, vibrant street art, and the Édith Piaf Museum commemorating its most famous ex-resident. To make the most of the neighborhood, consider staying at the excellent Babel Belleville (or the budget The People hostel).
- La Défense: The modern business and financial district of Paris lies 3 miles west of the Arc de Triomphe, at the end of the #1 metro line. It’s not the Paris most visitors have come to see, but it draws tourists nonetheless: in between the shiny steel and glass skyscrapers is the huge Les Quatre Temps shopping mall, the monumental Grande Arche (a modern concrete and glass 360-foot-high version of the Arc de Triomphe) and an open-air museum comprising statues and modern art installations by Joan Miró, Alexander Calder, and others, scattered around the main Esplanade. Most visitors only stay here for work, or if seeing a show at the Paris La Défense Arena: citizenM, Meliá, and Renaissance are all good hotel choices, with rates usually much cheaper than equivalent hotels in Paris proper.
- Disneyland Paris: Those familiar with Disney’s US parks might balk at visiting the Paris version, but kids still love Europe’s most popular theme park, some 20 miles east of the city center. Comprising Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios Park, it’s a relatively easy day trip by train (to Marne-la-Vallee Chessy station) or via the Disneyland Paris Express bus (45 min). Alternatively, there are six Disney hotels on site (with a seventh, the Disneyland Hotel, reopening in 2024), plus an array of cheaper accommodation just outside the park – Hotel l’Elysee Val d’Europe is the best option.
- Versailles: It can be mobbed by tour groups, but there’s good reason the Sun King’s palace is one of Europe’s most popular attractions – it’s a phenomenal ensemble of opulent rooms, halls, gardens, and mini palaces set over 2,000 manicured acres. Versailles makes another easy day trip (around 30 minutes by train), but you can also stay at the luxurious Waldorf Astoria Trianon Palace or the uber exclusive Airelles Le Grand Contrôle at the palace itself. An excellent but much cheaper alternative nearby is Hotel Du Jeu De Paume.
- There’s not much point in staying at either of the city’s airports unless you have an early flight or arrive very late. It makes more sense for Orly Airport, as getting to and from Orly (10 miles south of the city center) can be time-consuming by public transport. The best option here is the Novotel Coeur d’Orly. Charles de Gaulle Airport has a more convenient direct train link to Gare du Nord (around 35 minutes), but if you do need to stay here, the best option is the citizenM Charles de Gaulle.
Paris Travel Tips
- Paris has two main airports: Paris Orly (to the south) and Charles de Gaulle (or CDG, to the north). Frequent RER (rapid transit) trains zip between CDG and central Paris in around 30–40 minutes, but from Orly you must first take buses to RER stations and transfer to trains for onward connections into the center. Taxis are quite expensive; from CDG, around €53 to the right bank, and €58 to the left. From Orly it will be around €32 (left bank) to €37 (right bank).
- Almost everyone in Paris that serves tourists will speak some English. But it’s still helpful to learn a few words and numbers in French (especially useful in bars, cafés and restaurants).
- Several tourist discount cards and passes cover Paris attractions – if you intend to do some serious sightseeing it’s worth looking into these, though it can get a little complicated. Essentially, the longer your pass is valid, and the more sights you squeeze in, the more money you’ll save using one. The two main passes are Paris Passlib’ (based on 3, 5, or 6 experiences per card, from €35–119), and the Paris Pass (2, 3, 4 or 6-day unlimited use options). The Paris Pass costs more (€124+) but offers a lot more. Paris Passlib’ is usually better for singles or couples focused on specific museums, while Paris Pass tends to offer better value for families interested in packing lots of sightseeing and experiences into one trip (hop-on hop-off bus tours, for example). It’s a pain, but our advice is to work out exactly what you want to do in advance and do a price comparison before buying any of these passes.
- Bike rental is available through bikeshare service, Vélib’ Métropole, which has 1,400 docking stations and 20,000 bikes (including e-bikes) in Paris. Other bike/scooter share services in Paris include Dott, Lime, and Pony. Paris is not a bad place to ride bikes, with plenty of bike lanes and trails, but with public transport so efficient and cheap, and the city center easily walkable, it’s not worth renting a bike just to get around – unless you really enjoy riding them and intend to explore the riverside trails or outer suburbs more extensively.
- Free wi-fi is available at Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports, and at cafes, restaurants, and museums through the city itself. There’s also the free Paris Wi-Fi service available at hotspots throughout the city center: look for the “PARIS_WI-FI_” network.
- Best Hotels in Paris
- Best Hotels for Families in Paris
- Best Budget Hotels in Paris
- Paris Travel Guide
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